The voters of Weyburn spoke on Wednesday as a new council was elected to a new four-year term …
This is how many people will think of the 2012 civic election for the City of Weyburn — but in reality, the voters of Weyburn did not speak at all. In fact, fully three-quarters of the eligible voters in Weyburn did not choose to exercise their democratic right and privilege to vote.
The big question is why? Was it simply voter apathy? People’s busy lives? The weather? Or was it, as some suggested, that people were generally happy with how the city is run?
Whatever the reason, it is a tragedy of sorts that a freedom many people are fighting and dying for is just taken for granted here, and tossed aside as somehow irrelevant to their lives. The reality is, civic government has the most immediate impact on the day-to-day lives of city residents of any of the three levels of government.
The mayoral race was less than exciting, but this is what happens when a person, like candidate Bruce Croft, puts their name in but does absolutely no campaigning, and does not tell the public why they should vote for him. If a candidate cares that little for how the election goes, why should the voters? The very least the candidate could have done was come to the public candidates’ forum and put forward his opinions on the issues, so voters could weigh them against the incumbent before deciding how to vote.
For the candidates who ran for council, they made an effort and talked to city residents, spoke at the candidates’ forum and generally did what they could to tell residents why they are running for council. It takes courage to put one’s name forward on the ballot and run for election, especially when they make a concerted effort to tell people their views on the issues of the day.
In return, a paltry 25 per cent of residents came forward to cast their ballot out of the estimated 8,500 residents who were eligible to vote in this election.
To be sure, those elected will put forward their best efforts to deal with the issues of city government, such as what to do with the arrows on the streets, the level of taxes, the operation of the city police and fire department and public works. But it won’t really matter to the three-quarters of residents who didn’t care enough to vote, and that is a tragedy.